Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats


their Ally's Eastern frontier. It seems the strongest echo was to come
from Europe., where an over-joyed Goebbels kept it well-informed of
the intentions underlying this reference. German propaganda from that
time was able to use Poland as an example of a country which, having
blindly placed its confidence in the Allies, had been " sold to the Bolsheviks.3'
" If it would be possible to push back history to August 1939," quoted
the Manchester Guardian, January 283 1944, from Goebbel's article, " the
Poles, on the basis of the experience they have gained would unquestionably
have organised a Fakelzug and brought us the keys of Danzig on a golden
tray. London newspapers are emphasizing that the security of small
nations depends to-day on their good relations with their great and powerful
neighbours. Had Great Britain stated this in 1939, then war would have
been superfluous. We are, it seems, the witnesses of Russia's experiment
as to how many slaps and kicks Great Britain will take before she is provoked
into reaction. Washington welcomes the experiment. The discussions
in the question of Poland are sui generis the reconnaisance of the journalists
at this time when the Russians are still on the Polish frontier. If the
Russians were able to break the German front, and occupy Europe, who
can prevent them doing as they will ?"
While Poland, as the victim of Anglo-Saxon Powers, had been betrayed
by them, Czecho-Slovakia at the same time was presented in German
propaganda as a country which had believed in Hitler's word and had
benefited from this trust. On the fifth anniversary of the occupation of
Prague, Hitler wrote in a letter to Hacha :ó
** While the other European peoples, who allowed themselves to be pushed
into a war against the Reich by our enemies, have suffered great and bloody
sacrifices, and who to-day have been sold to Bolshevism by their former
friends, the Czech people, under the protection of the fighting German
forces, have been able to keep their most sacred values untouched.95
For three and a half years German propaganda against Poland had been
limited to a one-sided representation of her as the e nuisance of Europe.'
The uncovering of the Katyn murder, and the Teheran conference, had
given Goebbels the opportunity to increase, with a great deal of success,
the fear of imperialist Russia in Europe. From the summer of 1943, the
voice of German propaganda was to repeat nightly, for many, many
months to come, the phrase : 'to the Poles, and other endangered peoples
of the Middle Zoneódo you believe in the four freedoms promised by
our opponents. Look, they cannot even release the millions of their
Allies, the Poles, who are dying in the Soviet dungeons. What, therefore,
can you expect ? *
Thus the progress achieved by the Soviets in their work of disin-
tegrating the morale in the United Nations camp was plainly visible.
Russia was marching to the tune that * the sacrifice of a big State had a
greater value than the sacrifice of a small nation, that a * stronger Russia
decided so far as Poland's eastern frontier is concerned. The settlement of the
unfortunate dispute between Russia and Poland will be the first test of the sincerity
of the great Powers to adhere to the principles of the Atlantic Charter, to which
they have all subscribed,
162